Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Conversation with a Butterfly



I am sitting relaxing in my garden. The day is warm, with a few fluffy sheep’s-wool clouds sailing through a sky of piercing lapis, although the shade of the young maple tree under which I am sitting offers me some relative coolness.

A butterfly alights on one of the maple leaves, close enough for me to reach out and touch it. I do not do so, of course, being glad enough of its company. Its wings match the blue of the sky: a little piece of heaven flown down from above. ‘How are you?’ asks the butterfly courteously. I feel the need to be honest. ‘A little down’, I replied, ‘but rather better since you have come to visit me. ‘Ah,‘ said the butterfly unsurprised, ‘that is to be expected. I tend to have that effect upon those whom I visit.’ I noticed that I felt better the longer the butterfly remained with me. ‘Perhaps you could stay with me, then I would always feel better.’ I suggested.

‘Oh, no!’ exclaimed the butterfly emphatically. ‘It just doesn't work like that. Were I always to stay with you, my attraction would diminish to the point where you would not even notice my existence, because you would then simply take me for granted. In my experience, that is what tends to happen, which is why I prefer just to visit, rather than remain.’ I had a mischievous thought. ‘Then perhaps I could capture you!’ I said. ‘That way you would have to stay with me, and I would always have you close by!’ The butterfly smiled knowingly. ‘No, that would not work either! As soon as I am captured, I change. I become something else entirely that you would not even recognise. So you see, there’s no point in trying to catch me.’

‘Then when you fly away, I will follow you wherever you go!’ I laughed, rather smugly pleased with my own persistent ingenuity. ‘That way, you would always be free, and I would always be near you.’ ‘Still no good!’ The butterfly patiently explained. ‘You may chase after me for as long as you want. But if you chase me, you will discover that I always stay just out of reach. Better to just be still in yourself. That way, if you are lucky, I will come to visit you as I have now. Besides,’ the butterfly continued with a flutter of its azure wings ‘my little life is over soon enough. My visits tend to be brief ones, sometimes short, sometimes a little longer. And sometimes those whom I visit do not even realise that I have visited them until after I have flown away. That is the way it is.’

The butterfly fluttered its wings more vigorously, and I felt that it might fly away at any moment. ‘Please wait just a little!’ I asked. ‘’Won’t you tell me your name before you go?’ The butterfly smiled. ‘My name is Happiness.’ It replied. 





Painting by Odilon Redon

12 comments:

  1. I pray to see the day when your sorrow lifts.... lovely to see the butterfly who brings messages... love you, dear sister..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much... your words once again touched my heart. ♥ And I love you too...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your touching story of the butterfly. It is written so whimsically and the the story shines with such delicateness and beauty! I would love to share this gem with my children as it is contains a great wisdom to impart to all those who hear it. It is the punch line at the "My name is Happiness" that made me smile and laugh. Yes, this little story is a masterpiece! And the painting by Odilon Redon is wonderfully bright and brilliantly matches with your story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Joseph. I love your comment! And by all means share it with your children ♥

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mooi diep verhaal. Toch fantastisch om zo'n 'geluksbrengertje' te kunnen zien en er zo mooi over te kunnen schrijven. Ik heb er van genoten, en de laatste zin bracht ook even een brede glimlach om mijn mond. Het was echter het fraaie schilderij dat volop mijn aandacht trok en mij overhaalde om het verhaal te lezen. Prima keuze dus ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mario, wat een mooie reactie van jou op mijn conversatie met de vlinder. Dank je wel. En ja, ik kon geen ander schilderij bedenken dat meer toepasselijk was dan deze bloementuin van Odilon Redon. Leuk dat juist zijn bloementuin jou lokte!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Prachtig verhaal... zo mooi geschreven.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dank je wel, lieve Marja ♥

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh Emma...as one who has walked the sorrow path with you I hear and see the hidden gem within your words. My heart aligns with yours yet again. May I be the shelter to your rain...I love you so very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am deeply touched by your words, dear Phyllis...
      Deep peace came over me once I finished this story of the butterfly. For this is true: all grief can be transformed through Grace and that's what this butterfly represented to me that day. Thank you so much for your shelter and your love. I am truly blessed by you. I love you! ♥

      Delete
  10. The simplest, yet the deepest philosophy I've ever read!! So warmly innocent and childishly sincere way of telling such an important life's task. Message of Love and Strength/Encouragement , you've sent through these words, is on it's way back to you with my open heart and soul. Thank you Emma, You are really our preciousness.
    Sincerely,
    Rajna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Rajna, I feel blessed by your words. And I feel moved and humbled...because it is in the spirit of Grace that these stories come to me. Thank you, dear friend.

      Delete